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  • 1 week
    SA Reviews #126

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    A loud thump announced the arrival of Novel Idea into the dreaded dungeons of the Seattle’s Angel’s complex. To his surprise, the place had been completely redecorated. To his horror, he instantly recognized the new motif.

    Detention?!” he cried. “I’ve never been in detention in my life!”

    He turned to glare at the slide he’d been just dropped down. Corejo stood above, looking imperious—or at least trying to, it was Corejo after all.

    “You can’t do this to me! I’ll do my freaky time magic thing again!”

    “School’s in session. All of it.” Corejo winked—he actually winked—and pulled a level straight out of the Acme Budget Villain Catalogue. The portal closed with a resounding snap.

    He grumbled to himself and stomped over to the desk with his name on it and plopped down.

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    3 comments · 1,469 views
  • 2 weeks
    SA Reviews #125

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Corejo, as a Seattle’s Angel, had experienced many weird things during his tenure as a reviewer. Multiple base explosions, the fabric of spacetime ripping apart with seeming regularity, and the slightly disturbing obsession Red had for nuts.

    Even with all that, today was already vying for his top five list in terms of stuff he didn’t expect to be a part of when he woke up that morning.

    “Okay class!” Ferret announced from her position on top of a teacher’s desk. Before her, a room full of kids and a few adults sat at wooden desk, pencils and papers at the ready. “Today beings the first day of the School of Reviewers!”

    Corejo raised his hand.

    “Oh, and I see we already have a question. What is it?”

    “Yeah, uh, what is even the heck? Why do we have a reviewer school?”

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    15 comments · 1,408 views
  • 5 weeks
    SA Reviews #124

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “Look,” said Red, “I really think you’re going about this the wrong way.”

    “Oh really?” said Matthew419. “How would you suggest otherwise?”

    “Don’t dangle me by my tail off the edge of a fifty-story building?”

    A spotlight peered up at them. “This is Intern!” Intern shouted up through a megaphone. “We’ve got the building surrounded! Drop the squirrel and--”

    The megaphone squealed loudly, and there were sounds of a scuffle before another voice shouted at them once again. “No no no, don’t drop the squirrel!” said someone who Red thought might be Ebon Quill. “I mean, do, but first, just step away from the ledge and we’ll talk!”

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    12 comments · 2,213 views
  • 8 weeks
    SA Reviews #123

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    The pillars rose up around him, towering over Corejo like judgmental parents. On top of the pillars stood the Pillars, looking down on him like disappointed parents.

    “This council of Equestria’s first league of extraordinary gentlecolts—”

    “And three gentlemares!”

    Starswirl rolled his eyes. “Yes, quite.” Clearing his throat, Starswirl continued, “find you, Corejo, guilty. Stygian, read him his sentence.”

    Stygian, who wasn’t standing on any of the pillars, unfurled a scroll and began reading. Corejo could have sworn his voice sounded familiar. “You are hereby sentenced to review on a tight deadline. You will have to forsake the niceties the Seattle’s Angels grant their employees in order to make your due date.”

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    13 comments · 2,991 views
  • 9 weeks
    SA Reviews #122

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Paul paced about the thing laughably referred to as his office. He could get about four steps down before having to make a turn, and that’s assuming his line of motion was just right. He glanced at his clock, grumbled some phrase unfit for the world wide web, and continued his pacing.

    “Hey, Paul!” The door swung open. Since this was the smallest office in the history of offices, that resulted in the door smacking Paul in the face. With a hand over his bleeding nose, he turned his glare upon the visitor, one Novel-Idea.

    “You were supposed to be here hours ago.” Except it came out something like “Ou er spsed here hrgo” due to the current state of his nose.

    Novel shrugged. “Blame T.O.M. We gonna do those reviews or what?”

    Paul stared incredulously. “Ou evn’t dn urrs?”

    “Not yet, nope.”

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    6 comments · 2,704 views
  • 12 weeks
    SA Reviews #121

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    The room was lit by faint orange candlelight, barely enough to see by, but the sole occupant didn’t mind. In fact, he prefered the dim glow as it added to the mystique and allure of his persona. Words and phrases came to him more easily in this atmosphere, not to mention that it had a soothing effect on his mind. Everything in place, Ebon Quill raised the quill that was his namesake and dipped it into an inkwell. He held the quill to a piece of parchment, hands poised to write the first word.

    The door to his room burst open and a bright light flicked on.

    “Ack!” Ebon Quill’s first word became a jagged line across the paper. Fuming, he scrunched up the ruined parchment into a wad and tossed it into a nearby waste bin.

    “Jeez, man, how do you even see?” Intern asked as he crossed the room where Ebon Quill sat.

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    8 comments · 2,831 views
  • 14 weeks
    SA Reviews #120

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “So, uh, Paul?”

    “Yeah, Matthew?”

    “Why are you in my office?” Matthew shook his head. “Better yet, why are you hanging from the ceiling in my office?”

    “Oh, you know,” Paul started, “I don’t have anyone else to hang out with.”

    Matthew raised his right eyebrow. “Really?” he asked. “Puns?”

    “Not quite. There’s a method to my acting.”

    “Oh? Care to share?” Matthew asked.

    “Eh, not really,” Paul replied. “I’m putting these in at the perfect times. It’s all in the setupl, ya know?”

    “W-what?”

    “I was also sent by Ferret to wait for you to finish coming home. We got reviews to do.”

    Matthew sighed “Ugh, fine. What d’ya got?”

    ROUND 120

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  • 16 weeks
    SA Reviews #119

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “So it’s us two this time, huh?”

    “Eyup.”

    “Amazing how much we can get done, even with our compound getting destroyed.”

    “Sure is.”

    “This is what, the third time?”

    “Dunno. Lost count.”

    “Think we’ll make it in time?”

    “It’s gonna be close, that’s for sure.”

    “How much further?”

    “Just a little more… there!”

    Corejo stepped back and admired his work. A giant bronze sculpture of Seattle stood tall against the sky as Intern nudged it into place with a swarm of remote controlled drones. The statue sat in place in front of the compound entrance, an opened book resting in the crook of its arm and a pen held high in the other.

    Dusting off his hands, even though he did none of the work, Corejo turned to Intern with a nod. “Great. Now that that’s done, back to the reviews.”

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    7 comments · 2,893 views
  • 17 weeks
    SA Reviews #118

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “Hey, Matthew, watcha doin?” asked Chris, walking into their shared broom closet office.

    “Oh, not much. Just hiding from Fer… you know who.” Matthew shivered as he spoke.

    “What’d you do this time?” Chris asked.

    “I forgot to clean the bathroom.”

    “Ooh, Class five offense. Yikes.”

    Matthew nodded. “Anyway, what do you need from here?”

    “Me? Oh, I just got assigned to do reviews with you as punishment.”

    Matthew raised an eyebrow. “Your punishment or mine?”

    “Both,” Chris said, putting a stack of papers on the table. “I cut off Arch’s beard.”

    ROUND #118

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    14 comments · 2,637 views
  • 22 weeks
    SA Reviews #116

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Sitting on a rock surrounded by debris, Intern typed away furiously on a laptop lying on his lap. Being so engrossed in his work, he failed to see a figure march up to him. The figure cleared his throat, but didn’t get a response. Next, the figure lightly tapped Intern on the shoulder but still didn’t get a reaction.

    The figure finally settled on slapping Intern on the back of his head.

    “Hey!” Intern squawked indignantly. “I’m trying to work here.” Looking up, he found a man he didn’t recognize staring impatiently down at him. The man was dressed in a finely pressed suit and carried a briefcase. “Can I help you?”

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    7 comments · 4,497 views
Oct
10th
2017

Story Reviews » SA Reviews #113 · 1:59am Oct 10th, 2017

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


"What's that in your mouth?"

"It's a pipe," said Cyne, and jabbed the briary thing at Archonix from her comfortable chair by the fire, that flickered low and dark, and smoked more than a thoughtful philosopher at three in the morning when the rain is scattering drops in careful patterns across dust-rimed windows.

Archonix raised his eyebrows. "And it comes with all that prose for free, does it?"

Cyne clomped her teeth around the pipe and glared at Archonix. "You smoke one as well, you donkey."

"Only when I'm trying to write reviews," said Archonix. "And that's discrimination that is."

Cyne didn't answer, preferring to stare into the fire and to think long thoughts, something entirely alien to Archonix on the best of days. They sighed in unison.

ROUND 113


Miss Cheerilee has always looked out for her former pupil, Pinkamena Diane Pie ("Pinkie" to her friends).

Hooves must always (always) look after his current employer, Roland Bertram Aethelnoth Whickers the Third, Viscount Astley ("Bertie" to his friends).

But when Bertie met Pinkie, something happened that neither the schoolteacher nor the butler had looked for.


I adore Jeeves and Wooster. I cannot get enough of it; neither the books nor the television series with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

I'm more than fond of the clash-of-the-classes sort of fiction, the mixing of refinement and, for want of a better word, crudity, even if it is at something of a remove.

Of a Cheerilee both middle-aged and so protective of her students that she'd accidentally—well.

And I've met TheJediMasterEd at Bronycon - he mixes a mean manhattan, if I do recall correctly - so I am ridiculously partial about this particular entry.

There's even a bit of mythological worldbuilding. This thing is my bread and butter.

The first time I ever talked to Ed, he commented on a story of mine to unravel a thread of suggestion I had half-buried and half-forgotten and it was delightful. I’m glad to say his own writing is the same.

This is a love story, but probably not like you’re used to seeing it. It’s a “how they got together” story but its also… again, not like you’re used to seeing. It’s about two very different people and the strangeness of emotional attachment. It’s about chess, and I mean that in more than one way. It’s also about Cheerilee, and I’ll admit that having just become a teacher I was kinda touched.

The style reminds me of the sort of thing I would hand out to a ENG 201 class in college, that sort of “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket”/ Rabbit style of New York newspaper fiction prose but with a touch of the artistic sort one only finds in someone who has an active internal monologue and a more than passing familiarity with writers who like to play around with the conventions of putting words into sentences. In short, it’s good and it manages to make stream of conciousness work in a few places. I highly recommend.


Manehattan leaves its hoofprint on everypony who ventures into it.


This feels like a romance.

I'm not saying that to complain, mind you. It isn't mistagged; it's nothing of the sort. It's just two new friends enjoying coffee together while they try to weave some semblance of understanding from the raw tangle of emotions wrapped around and between them like so much colourful cotton.

I say it feels like a romance because romances are about that deep, emotional bond and that understanding of the self, or at least they're a facsimile of it. The best are also subtle about it; rather than waving the emotional undercurrents in your face like a flag, they drape it insubstantially about your mind, leaving only impressions and thoughts and feelings. Silken spectres in place of the neon emotionalism of the lesser writer.

Two friends having coffee. Someone with less investment in the story would have made it a romance. It wouldn't have been nearly as good.

Anyone who has ever asked me what FiMFic writers I like or admire has heard me talk about Hoof-ful before. There’s a reason for that.

Hoof-ful gives us my favorite sort of story--the extraordinary in the mundane. It’s a kind of thing I do a lot myself, and its a kind of thing I enjoy immensely in others’ writing. There’s so much that happens in small, quiet moments, so much that one can miss and so easily. The world blurs around small fixed points in time, odds and ends that always make me think about J. Alfred Prufock but without the whole, you know, alienation thing.

True Colors is a simple story. It’s a bit of coffee after a big emotional moment. It’s a mare processing a lot of things at once in a brave new world, Rarity murmuring in a coffee shop, and a bit about Manehattan and colors. On the surface, not much to write about. But Hoof-ful really is a master of the conversation. Much like they did in “Both Sides Now”, they manage to create dialogue that is pregnant with suggestion but never absolutely committing to one extreme or the other. Sometimes the cigar is just a cigar--and sometimes coffee is just coffee. Except when it’s not really about coffee at all.


After an argument with Twilight, Luna is out of sorts. Smasher, a clumsy colt with a penchant for breaking valuables, isn’t having the best day either.


The main thing about Luna, the one defining thing about her, is that she's out of place. Even in the latest episodes, she's a little awkward and a little oddly out of tune with the way other people think. At the same time, her outsider status gives her insights that others might not have.

More than anything, they give her empathy for other outsiders, for others who might not quite fit into the world they're meant to be a part of.

Though painted within the frame of a relationship, this story is Luna's isolation and empathy serving as a means to impart confidence and wisdom to a youngster who can't quite find his place. It's probably one of the better uses of the character I've read.

The thing about other people is that they are other people, and by default we are always to some extent on uneven footing. Like a general relying on reports from miles away about things he knows only as symbols on a map, we have only fragmented and often contradictory information. Sartre said that “Hell is Other People” but I tend to think that it’s more that other people are beautiful, fractured things and that care is needed.

This is a story about Luna coming across a class trip after a particularly unpleasant spat. The Luna in this story is excellent, not straying overmuch into archaism but retaining some of the dignity we associate with anachronism. The foals she talk to are by turns hilarious and honestly pretty true to life. The lesson is solid. And there is a lesson! The Aesop is strong with this one, and while I’m sometimes unsure of such things, I can confidantly say that this one is both needful and told well.


Before Sunset Shimmer tried to take over a high school, long before she fled through the mirror portal, in the days before she was even the personal student of Princess Celestia, the young filly met Canterlot's most elusive stranger. He gave her a secret. And then a gift. And finally, a revelation.

In the end, he really only brought Sunset a curse.


This one hurt; right in the "feels" as you youngins say. While the mechanism of its framing might seem a little cliché at first, this particular take digs right into the core of Sunset's character and draws out the thing that really makes her tick. It shows her as a young filly, as an outsider, who sees the world just that little bit differently.

Sunset is like Twilight, driven to seek knowledge. Both are powerful; both shun friendships and relationships in favour of gaining Celestia's approval and acquiring new knowledge. The difference is why: Twilight sought the knowledge for its own sake; Sunset for the promise of the power that knowledge would grant her.

Perhaps being out of place has been the theme of this whole week, or perhaps - like Sunset - I'm just seeing things that I want to see rather than the things that are right there.

I’ve seen a lot on why Sunset Shimmer went wrong. Arrogance, reckless abandon, greed, even Celestia being her long lost mother--all these I’ve seen. This story rests comfortably somewhere between childish hubris and the will to power. Sunset is still in Magic Kindergarten, and she is bright and possessed of the absorbed mentality that we excuse in children because they are perhaps the only ones who can possess it innocently.

What is excusable in a child is less excusable in one who steps into things they should not. She is only a child, after all, and as we see, she is not really prepared for what she wants and the things she must do to attain those desires. Nor is she really understanding what exactly the nature of the things she desires. Sometimes, we just want the wrong things.


"Next time, we do this my way," Archonix said. He pulled out a bottle of gin and grinned. "Trust me, it'll be a blast."

Cyne raised her eyes to the heavens.

The rain continued to fall.


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Report Wanderer D · 4,902 views ·
Comments ( 4 )

Hmm, may need to check some of these out.

Also:

ROUND ##

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Glad to see Hoof-ful getting more recognition. :)

I positively appreciate the style of this review. Thank you all.

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